It has not been a great year for United Airlines to say the very least. Another passenger was forced to give away his seat, this time to a toddler. The 27-month old surpassed the 24-month policy United Airlines has for toddlers and the need to purchase a seat. The mom, Shirley Yamauchi, expressed his dismay with the airline in an interview with NBC News, “It was unsafe, uncomfortable and unfair. I couldn’t believe it was happening to me.”
The flight was departing Houston and headed to Boston. Yamauchi, a Hawaii teacher, said the seat she purchased the two tickets for her and her son well in advance — almost $1,000 each — that included a trip from Hawaii to Boston with a layover in Houston. Yamauchi said she didn’t encounter any problems from Hawaii to Houston until she had to board the second leg of the trip. Once seated, a standby passenger approached the toddler to let him know he was in their seat. Confused, Yamauchi asked for an explanation and according to her was given four different explanations by four different employees.
United Airlines issued a public apology soon after by public spokesman Jonathan Guerin:
“On a recent flight from Houston to Boston, we inaccurately scanned the boarding pass of Ms. Yamauchi’s son. As a result, her son’s seat appeared to be not checked in, and staff released his seat to another customer and Ms. Yamauchi held her son for the flight. We deeply apologize to Ms. Yamauchi and her son for this experience.”
United has contacted Yamauchi and told her that her son’s ticket will be refunded and she will be sent a travel voucher for the bad experience.